Monday, September 24, 2012

NBIM Day 24: Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1974) #49

Memo to self: Despite appearances to the contrary, offering campsite coffee to ghosts is actually
NOT that bad of an idea.
As I pulled Ripley's Believe It or Not! #49 from my dusty old longbox, and thumbed through it on my way downstairs, I considered that it might be better to save it for October (Halloween, duh!). But recognizing that there is more than enough ghoully goodness to recommend; Gold Key comics are, after all, a gold mine of creepy, and relatively all ages titles of the macabre in addition to Ripley's: Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery, Spine Tingling Tales and others. Upon further review, however, I noticed that despite the cover, there is very little truly creepy about this book...

This anthology of suspense/mystery series tales, carries the subtitle "True Ghost Stories," and features traditional comic book stories "The Witch is Dead," "The Battle is Over," "Secret of the Stones," and "The Healing Hands." There is also a one-page text feature "Dead Men Do Tell Tales." The stories as a whole are fairly pedestrian, with little tie-in to the Ripley's brand, except the superficial title.

While the first two stories are set in faraway historical periods, both the third tale,"The Secret of the Stones," and the fourth, "The Healing Hands" are set in a fairly modern setting. All four also deal with primarily friendly ghosts who return not to haunt or terrorize, but rather to aid the living. In each story, the protagonist is saved from death in a variety of ways which allow each to wrapped up neatly with out a twist or scare.

If "all ages" means safe for young children to read, then this is your ticket, though I suspect most children would close this book abut two pages in. As an adult reader, an appreciator of comic books and the tales they tell, I found Ripley's Believe It or Not! #49 to be an entertaining enough read which I'm glad I did not save for the terrors of All Hallows Eve--that would have only courted disappointment.

With a cover price $0.25, you are likely to pay just a touch more. I found Ripley's Believe It or Not! #49 online for anywhere from $1-3, and in your local comic shop, that is if you can scare up a copy.

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